by Auroville Resident
Some of you must have seen videos and photos from Auroville with shocking remarks and
claims about forest being destroyed, Auroville being destroyed, police coming in. It must have
been very shocking, hurtful and moving.
There is chaos everywhere.
But beneath the chaos, there is a quiet silence.
When we see things on the surface, it is disturbing & shocking. But, like yogic knowledge tells us, if we are disturbed, we are necessarily seeing outside of the Truth. So it is important to tune into the underlying silence to be able to see and understand – what is going on?
To understand this, it is important to understand a bit of context. At the Crux of this experiment of human unity is the ability to be a willing servitor of the Divine
Consciousness. If that’s not there, then very quickly in the absence of normal social conventions and rules that are meant to keep a certain order in the society, the society will very easily fall into a false freedom of drugs, booze, false pleasure and an animalistic fulfilments of desires in the name of freedom. Auroville is meant to rise above the normal society, not fall below it. Though, somewhere in Auroville’s development, since we could not accept “willing servitor of
the Divine Consciousness” as the most important tenet, exactly what has happened is a falling into the lower, rather than raising into the higher.
Auroville when it was born, it was born on four solid pillars
(1) The Auroville Charter, which is the larger vision of Auroville,
(2) The Auroville Dream, which elucidates the shifts from conventional society to the new society with a “new consciousness”
(3) To be a True Aurovilian, a treatise on how the citizen of Auroville is meant to be,
(4) The Galaxy Plan, a concrete material plan for the manifestation of a city of 50,000.
As one moves from number 1 to 4, things become more and more concrete and real, and there is no difference between the abstract & concrete, spiritual & material. Somehow, over the course of Auroville’s history, order of the four documents also relates to the order of importance given to each of these. Charter & Dream have been owned up the most, for they are high level agreements amongst the residents, and each one can have different “interpretations” and so there is not much pressure of an actual unity. 3rd, that is to be a true Aurovilian & 4th, that is the manifestation of a city are difficult, for 3rd requires Sadhana, change of human nature – & as yet not all of us in Auroville have accepted that to be a fundamental indispensible necessity & the first & most important priority. Whilst softer forms of self-love, self-development, feel good spirituality are valued in the name of sadhana, there is an absence of serious Sadhana, that works with the vital and not indulges in it, that sees one’s own flaws than constantly blaming the systems, that serves the Divine Consciousness, cutting through one’s challenges, limitations, preferences and volatilities.
Since relationship to the Divine has not been taken seriously, the relationship with each other, creating bonds of attachments is seen as the highest spiritual manifestations of compassion and Love; whereas true human unity is based on Divine Love, not on human attachments, and in fact, it breaks through human attachments.
It is, for this reason, there is a lot of attachment to “my land”, “my home”, “my community”, “my family” in Auroville, for some of us are seeking human unity, without necessarily seeking the Divine with utmost, burning priority. If it does not go “via” the Divine, the creation of these attachments are but natural.
Next, 4th i.e. manifestation of the city is the most difficult because it makes things as concrete as they get. It is easy to agree in ideals and just as difficult to agree in action, matters of manifestation.
4th has also been particularly difficult for Auroville began with the reforestation of barren land, and over the years, people have grown very attached to their work, land, the trees they planted, the huts they have made, even though from the very beginning it was meant to be a temporary work of safeguarding and rejuvenating the land until the work for the city begins.
The original idea and intention of Auroville were to create an international lab for the evolution of consciousness, in which research happens in all aspects of city life, with 50,000 constantly-evolving residents from across the world & a complex architecture, that is at once eco-friendly, with 75% forest, as well as high-tech modern buildings. What we have created is beautiful and grandeur, but not the Galaxy, and that’s not just because we didn’t have the means we also didn’t have the intention, we didn’t have faith in it’s Founder, we didn’t feel it is important. Making the Galaxy meant us to let go of our single stories huts and homes on tracts of lands – not very easy.
Now that we had not taken Sadhana seriously, natural human attachments have taken over. Auroville then is no longer an experiment for the world, by the world, and of the world, but rather my little community, my land, my friends, my house to which I am very attached.
Emotional being is mistaken for the psychic being, when human relationships are built on attachment. Now, this is a big blocker, for a constantly evolving city like Auroville. In a place where nothing belongs to anybody in particular, tribal mentality, marking territory, not allowing the world to come & learn from Auroville, but using people to make money, is a serious misdirection that has taken over.
Auroville is not a tribal community where we have to love each other like family, hiding each other’s flaws and supporting each other irrationally, but rather widen our Hearts to love universally.
With the coming of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th birth anniversary, a force is at work, and this is beginning to change. Auroville is undergoing a process of intense purification. The need of sadhana and of manifestating our ideals through serious work as a living breathing city of dawn & open it to the world to learn & engage is beginning to gain momentum.
But this radical shift will not be easy. As usual every great shift, this too is preceded by a battle. A battle of future and the past. The future that is determined and violently trying to shake the past. The past that is stuck and aggressive and refuses to move.
Today we are into this battle where the future is violently trying to leap and the past is aggressively trying to hold back in Auroville.
This is not a new problem, it has existed for over 25+ years, so if we see the dramatised narratives from yesterday in isolation, it will be biased. 25 years ago, Auroville fought a war against the spiritual hardliners, and in that process, a part of the Auroville mentality developed an aversion towards Divine, the Mother, Sri Aurobindo & themselves became environmental
The environment hardliners, using one or the other logic kept on blocking the manifestation of the city, losing often the sense of proportion – calling a few trees as a forest, instigating the youth to deliberately plant trees in areas meant for city’s manifestation, using the community process to hijack with loud voices and vital dominations to get their way through…
In all of this, the world has experienced a great loss; for Auroville has largely remain closed to receive the energy of the world, for Auroville is far from becoming the “city” the Earth needs.
Not just the world, in all of this, Auroville has really suffered with it’s collective processes becoming stagnant and redundant, sluggish and poor, youth often falling into drugs and pornography in the name of freedom in this spiritual place, and economy white and black, hardly thriving.
Auroville is undergoing surgery of a cancer that has been building up over the years. It is painful, but it is not the destruction of Auroville. It is the repair of Auroville. Nothing can and will destroy Auroville. Auroville’s development until now has happened with the hand of the Divine Mother, she brought the hippies here, they have regenerated the land. She is also behind all that is coming to Auroville, money, infrastructure and a space for sadhaks to come. The past was her doing, the present and the future too. The surface destruction is a part of the Leela. We play our part, and see Her birth the new world. It is not ideal that a war births
peace, and perhaps, it will not be required as we evolve. Where we are, that’s what seems to be unfolding, and we see the Divine Will behind it and play perfectly the little role given to us in Her play, which is beyond us.